Growth Mindset

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"Research shows that when students learn that their academic ability is not a fixed trait, like eye color, but instead is like a muscle that can grow and develop with hard work, they do better in school" -noted in a blog post

Salt In His Shoes

This is a great read-aloud for students. It has many teaching points, but one of them could easily be fixed vs. growth mindset. I normally read it during the first few days of school and talk about hopes & dreams and also perseverance. Next year I will use it for Growth Mindset. It's a book written by the superstar's mother. She tells the story of how a young Michael Jordan overcomes his difficulties of being the shortest player on the court by practicing with his father.

Killing two Birds with One Stone (Stress & Mindset)

Coloring enthusiasts claim that coloring makes them feel calmer, mentally clearer, happier, and more relaxed.

The two pictures below are great inspirational quotes that could lend themselves into the growth vs. fixed mindset theory when teaching to your students. They are coloring pages from the online website "Doodle Art Alley."

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School Bulletin Board Idea

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A Growth Mindset in Math

A Few Strategies to Consider (or Reconsider)

  • Memorizing is an ineffective tool in math. According to PISA data, kids with the lowest achievement in math rely on memorizing strategies. Kids with the high achievement use patterns, connections, and other strategies. Dr. Boaler was quite clear that although automaticity with math facts is important to higher level math, memorization is a poor way to get there. Instead, kids should learn to see patterns and play with numbers, developing a strong number sense (the most important foundational skill in math).
  • Ability grouping in math is associated with lower achievement. Both low and high achievers raise their achievement when ability grouping is given up. Interestingly, high achievers are the ones who most benefit from untracked, heterogeneous math classes.
  • Use “low floor—high ceiling” open-ended math tasks. Puzzles, challenges, and real world problems, for which there is no one right way to get there, are more beneficial than “closed” tasks where the goal is to get the right answer. Students need to see math as a “learning subject” instead of a “performance subject.” Students need to be taught strategies for different ways of seeing and representing math thinking using multiple entry points and multiple pathways and strategies.
  • Math should never be associated with speed. Stop giving timed math tests. Stress shuts down the brain’s working memory, which is the part of the brain needed for the task in the first place. Timed tests are the early on-set of math anxiety. Many of the great math thinkers are slow and deliberate.
  • Reposition mistakes. The brain grows, new synapses fire, when challenged and when mistakes are made. This doesn’t happen when correct answers are given. Mistakes need to be seen as valuable learning tools, not something to avoid.

Mike Anderson's Blog

Something to Think About...

A Powerful Three-Letter Word